Thursday, 9 February 2012

Out of Just Me, Really

Shouldn't Be A Problem by foundimagination
You know that saying about how "assuming makes an ass out of you and me"? (you know, 'cuz "assume" has u and me and ass in it?")

Yeah, well, I think it just makes an ass out of me.

I am (almost) always well intentioned. And when it comes to people I care about, I try to do what it is they'd most appreciate even if I'm just guessing, or assuming, what that is.

Like my friend here (in our building) who just had a baby. I ran into her in the hallway and she said "drop by any time!" and I said "well, I don't like to just drop by on people who have babies in case they're sleeping or I interrupt quiet time or something."

"I have a toddler," she replied "there IS no quiet time!"

So my assumption that I would be interrupting if I went and knocked on their door to say hi and get some baby snuggle time is... apparently wrong.

And makes me feel like an ass.

I go through an especially hard time when my friends have babies because I don't know how to interact with them. I don't want to call in case it's a bad time. I don't want to stop by in case I wake up the baby. I don't want to accept an invitation to come over in case the baby ends up having diarrhea or the family is overwhelmed and exhausted but just too polite to cancel.

So I have some friends I haven't seen in years, because babies turn into kids and now we can't just do something on the spur of the moment because someone needs to watch the child and I feel bad for even asking.

People keep telling me they're pregnant and there are a lot of my friends who are going to be having a baby or have already had a baby or are about to have baby number two and I feel socially awkward in that I don't know how to be their friend anymore because I don't want to interrupt or annoy or irritate or anything.

But, yeah. That's the most obvious example I can think of how my attempt to do what I think/assume you'd want me to do doesn't necessarily work out in the best way, even though it's with the best of intentions.

So I'm trying not to assume.

Or, at least, I'm trying to assume less and less.

I'm not going to assume that you'll ask me over if you want me over, because maybe you're sitting there in your house assuming that if I wanted to come over I would come over and man now we're all confused and sitting home alone.

And I'm going to try to not assume I know what people are thinking about me because that doesn't end up anywhere good either.

Maybe it goes back to what I keep hearing people say to their kids; "use your words!"

Maybe I can keep working on saying what I think/feel/wonder and can hope that everyone else is trying to do the same.

Or maybe that's just another erroneous assumption?


"Ass out of me" indeed.


Just Sayin... said...

I don't call certain friends after 7 pm cos it's dinner, bath and bed time. A phone call can interupt that routine.

My friends would say they disagree, and that they're more happy to hear an adult voice.

Just keep being you.

Elliott said...

Speaking as someone who went from a bachelor for most of my 20's to an overnight dad of three kids when I married their Mom, trust me when I say I think you're friends miss you but won't say so. Most of my friends were childless when I met my wife and three kids, so they really didn't know how to interact either, so they just stopped calling (I was the always single person in the group of married/engaged friends...a late bloomer). We used to play golf together, ball, hockey, etc and then nothing. It hurt. I missed my friends, but didn't want to beg them to include me. I didn't change because of the kids, but I was busier.

Reach out to your friends...I'm sure they will appreciate your effort and friendship. Parenting is hard enough without feeling like you've lost your friends because of it. One friend stuck by me and we still did things together, just not quite as often and I really appreciate that friend...still do 14 years later.

The Ex Student said...

I'm getting to this point too. A lot more of my friends are getting married and having kids, and seeing as kids aren't something I see for my future, it becomes awkward to figure out how my life fits with my friends and vice versa.

I think the best thing to remember is that they are still your friends. They are still identities seperate from their kids, and if they didn't want you around they wouldn't tell you stop by.

You don't want to stray too far because being in a kids life? It's pretty great! Even if you can't do spur of the moment things anymore. I must say its pretty awesome getting to go to things like the museum or Undersea Gardens with a friend of mine who has a kid.

Your friendships won't be like they used to be, but maybe they will be even better?

Victoria said...

Heck JS, if you called me after 7pm, I might be in the same routine some nights! ;) *hugs*

I hear you Elliott, thanks for your side of things and the insight. I appreciate it.

True enough The Ex...